Author Topic: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?  (Read 3239 times)

Offline Donna

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Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« on: February 10, 2014, 12:28:57 AM »
Hi everybody!

I am working on a small 10 page booklet for my daughter.  The paper I have used is actually my practice paper.  It is Hp Colour Laser paper and has substantial weight, so not flimsy.  I'm using Sumi Ink.

I haven't got a lot of time left as I want the project done for her birthday which is at the end of the week. 

My question is, would you bind the original work, or would you have it printed onto nicer quality paper?  I kind of like the idea that it is the original work - theres texture and sheen in the letters themselves, obviously hand written...but then I wonder if I should put it on acid free stock for longevity?  or maybe longevity isn't really possible with printed work anyways? 

And for future reference, if you were creating a piece that you knew you wanted to keep as the original, what paper would you use?  Hot press watercolor?  I'm thinking this might be too soft?

I don't know, but if anybody thinks they can help, I'd sure appreciate it!  Even if it doesn't happen for this project, it would be good to know.  :)

Cheers,
Donna x

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 04:52:59 PM »
Hi Donna,
Great questions! There are many different factors which can contribute to the archival-ness of a project, mostly - the ink, paper, and how it is exposed to light. You have varying control over all three.

For calligraphy:
Ink - dye-based inks, like those used in cartridge pens, will eventually fade. Dye-based inks can be very bright and bold when first used however, will fade over time and with light exposure. A spray fixative can preserve the color and help it last longer.

Pigment-based inks last longer. These include india inks, some sumi inks, and some markers like Sakura micron pens. Most pigment based inks are considered archival or fade-resistant. Also, remember that waterproof is not the same as archival. Some Higgins inks are actually dye-based even though called india inks and therefore are less archival. So it's important to check the label for "pigment-based" when choosing an archival ink.

Paper - Ideally, you want both acid-free and archival. Acid-free paper can last hundreds of years. Archival paper is fiber based like cotton and will last for 500-1,000+ years. Wood-pulp based paper will eventually yellow over time (like newspaper clippings).

A hotpress watercolor paper with a smooth sizing is ideal. Some favorites for calligraphers are Arches Text Wove and Rives BFK. You will have to cut the paper to size as it comes in large sheets. Both John Neal and Paper and Ink Arts have a great selection as do most large art supply companies.

For printing:
They now make archival quality printer papers. Some are made from bamboo. They are rather expensive. In terms of ink, I think it depends upon your printer. You should be able to look it up and the manufacturer will give you a rough estimate. For example, I use a Canon MX printer and Canon just came out with a ChromaLife100+ ink and paper system which supposedly makes the prints last 100+ years. However, they are still dye-based. And of course, this comes at a cost.

If you truly want something archival, you are better off going with original calligraphy with a pigment-based ink on archival paper.  ;D
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 04:54:34 PM by Erica McPhee »
Truly, Erica
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Offline Donna

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Re: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2014, 02:48:28 AM »
Thanks Erica for your thorough answer to my questions. 
Sometimes watercolor paper, even smooth hotpress, can be pretty soft so I wondered if the pointed nib would catch on it.  I will definitely look out for the types that you have recommended.
Unfortunately, I don't think I will have time to rewrite everything on good paper this time around, but I will want to try in the future.  Actually can't wait to try lol!
I'm covering this book with nice card and a simple Japanese binding technique.  I may take photo copies of the work and offer to redo it at a later date on better paper.  Its all good practice!
I sure appreciate getting answers to the questions I have.  Really, really appreciate it!  Thank you once again. :)

Offline Estefa

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Re: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 04:48:31 AM »
Hi Donna, some manufacterers also show on the packaging if their products are light-fast, for example most of the Schmincke Calligraphy Gouache has very high light-fastness

http://www.kunstpark-shop.de/Kuenstlerbedarf/Gouache-Tempera/Schmincke-CALLIGRAPHY-Gouache.html
http://www.johnnealbooks.com/prod_detail_list/s?keyword=schmincke

except some of the Yellows and Reds (4 and 5 Stars mean very good light-fastness). It depends on the pigments obviously. Ziller inks (which are also great for mixing) are also light-fast according to their product information:

http://www.johnnealbooks.com/prod_detail_list/s/1

For archival black I would still recommend iron gall ink … I know that it is corrosive, but only after 500+ years, so … and there are manuscripts over 1000 years old written with iron gall ink that are still in very good condition. It depends very much on the quality of paper, and on storage (humidity is bad, also obviously) how much damage the ink does (after what I read of course.)

You could also print out your artwork as photos, I mean professionally. There are archival papers and inks nowadays, and more materials than just glossy photo paper (but I think that would not be fitting for your current project, I am sure that is much nicer as original – just as an idea for later).

I love to use this cotton paper, it's not soft at all: Fabriano Disegno 5, 300g/m2! It has more "teeth" – can you say that? – than super smooth paper like Rhodia, but I like that actually. It is a good idea to use a not too scratchy nib on it ;)

Your project sounds sweet, I am sure your daughter will be very happy about such a personal gift!
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Donna

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Re: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 09:37:13 AM »
Estefan, that's very helpful too thank you! Paper is one thing that I have to source locally...too expensive to post...so I have written down the names of the three papers that have been named here and I'll see what I can find.

I have worked on large sheets of watercolour paper before, using w&n gouache, but that was with a broad edged pen, not a pointed nib. I am new to the pointed nib and haven't even got to the stage of experimenting with gouache yet.

I think my daughter will appreciate the little book ... she loves anything remotely artistic!  I love that I am able to do this for her.  I am stretched for time though but we'll see...I may have to experiment. :)
I hope this will be the first of many that I will make for her!  And that each books execution gets better as I improve techniques.

My great great grandfather made a leather bound prayer book all written by hand so beautifully.  Very tiny writing and ornate, makes me wish I could read French! He was from Paris and was an architect. One day I should photograph some pages for this site.  It is very inspirational to me.  Not that I am comparing my little booklet to his masterpiece because there is nothing to compare, his is invaluable!  I feel so fortunate to have it and to be able to pass it on to my daughter.

Offline Donna

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Re: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 09:43:30 AM »
Sorry Estefa, I spelt your name correctly above but the darned spellcheck on my ipad "corrected" it for me by adding the n...aaarrgh.  Sometimes spellcheck is more of a hindrance than a help!  I really need to retread my posts before sending but even than the eye doesn't always catch these things!

Offline Donna

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Re: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2014, 09:50:25 AM »
oooohh...I just noticed I have got some Karma lol!  I'm no longer a newbie on the forum! ;)

Offline Estefa

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Re: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2014, 01:16:06 PM »
I have worked on large sheets of watercolour paper before, using w&n gouache, but that was with a broad edged pen, not a pointed nib. I am new to the pointed nib and haven't even got to the stage of experimenting with gouache yet.

I can understand that – I am also not yet very comfortable with Gouache!

I think my daughter will appreciate the little book ... she loves anything remotely artistic!  I love that I am able to do this for her.  I am stretched for time though but we'll see...I may have to experiment. :)
I hope this will be the first of many that I will make for her!  And that each books execution gets better as I improve techniques.

That sounds really lovely! And then later you could show her how to make books herself ;)

My great great grandfather made a leather bound prayer book all written by hand so beautifully.  Very tiny writing and ornate, makes me wish I could read French! He was from Paris and was an architect. One day I should photograph some pages for this site.  It is very inspirational to me.  Not that I am comparing my little booklet to his masterpiece because there is nothing to compare, his is invaluable!  I feel so fortunate to have it and to be able to pass it on to my daughter.

Oh – such a heirloom is something so precious. How beautiful for you to have such a memory of your great great grandfather!

Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Donna

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Re: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 09:01:45 PM »
oops! ha! I am still a newbie lol...a newbie with 1 karma ;)

Estefa, my dd is turning 21 and busy doing a Fashion degree, so no time to learn calligraphy...although I would not be surprised to see her take it up in a few years.  Who knows?

I bought a sheet of hot press Arches watercolor paper today.  Am about to cut it up and have a go with the pointed pen.  Will prob stick to using my Sumi Ink (will check the bottle to see if it mentions light fastness or not, if it doesn't look good I could mix up some w&n lamp black gouache.

If this goes well, I will redo the pages I've already done...it'd be sooooo much nicer with lovely paper!

Thanks again Erica and Estefa!

Offline Estefa

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Re: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 10:00:17 AM »
I think you are a newbie until you posted at least 49 posts ;)

Oh, sorry about the assumption that your daughter's still a child – mine are 3 years old ;), so I always think of little girls …

I am very curious to hear how your project is coming along! – I also think that light fastness is not such an issue with black ink, and if it's inside a book –when you put something on the wall it's quite different!
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Donna

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Re: Printed or Original? and Paper choices?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 11:15:23 PM »
Hi Esteva

Lol yes my little girl is now an adult but always my little girl in my heart!

I gave her the booklet on her birthday yesterday and her eyes watered up and than mine did too. I'm so glad that I was able to make her something meaningful and lasting.

I ended up using Arches watercolor paper with Sumi ink and the cover was made using canson card.  I just used an embroidery thread for the Japanese style binding.  The better papers gave it a much better quality feel so I'm glad I made the effort.

I KNOW I would have redone some of it if I had more time.  that's just one of my "things" that I have to get over - I have promised myself that I will give/send things that I make for family and friends without redoing them over and over! 

Oh your little ones only 3 years old!  Sometimes I really miss those years when the girls were young!  But there's something at every age to enjoy.  :)